With the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks each winning their Wild Card games to advance to the division series, eight teams are now aspiring to search for the title to either reclaim it or end a longtime drought of postseason misfortune. As of Sunday, October 8, three teams are on the verge of moving onto the Championship Series in their respective leagues.
After an 8-4 Wild Card game win for the Yankees, they now find themselves down two games to the Cleveland Indians in their division series matchup. After being shut out in the first game in a 4-0 loss, the Yankees went into game two with an 8-3 lead after six innings. That was erased when Cleveland shortstop Fransisco Lindor hit a grand slam to trim the lead to just a run, followed by outfielder Jay Bruce hitting a solo shot to tie it in the eighth. The Indians would eventually win 9-8 in 13 innings, giving them the 2-0 series lead going back to the Bronx.
Arizona has had their troubles despite being Wild Card winners as well. After beating the Colorado Rockies in an 11-8 victory to move onto the Division Series, the Diamondbacks can’t seem to get past the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have bested two of their top four starters in back-to-back wins at Dodger Stadium. They move to Chase Field on Columbus Day for game three of the series, in which Arizona hopes to keep going to avoid being eliminated.
Attempting to defend their World Series title, the Chicago Cubs have to first get by the American League East Division champions, the Washington Nationals. Chicago ended up coming away with a huge 3-0 shutout in game one of the series against National’s ace Stephen Strasburg. However, as it seemed like the Cubs would come away with game two as they had a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Washington unraveled the faults in their bullpen as outfielder Bryce Harper crushed a towering two-run homer to tie the game, followed by first basemen Ryan Zimmerman hitting a go-ahead, three-run blast later to make it 6-3 Nationals, which would be the final score. The two teams square off again at Wrigley Field on Monday.
Lastly, the Boston Red Sox have managed to keep themselves in the hunt for the trophy after a crucial 10-3 win against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on Sunday. After losing the first two games at Minute Maid Park by 8-2 scores, Boston’s offense came alive with home runs by rookie third baseman Rafael Devers and outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. Reliever David Price came on and pitched four shutout innings, combined with the rest of the bullpen to throw seven and two-thirds scoreless frames against a tough Houston lineup. Boston aims to keep their postseason hopes alive on the shoulders of last year’s Cy Young winner, Rick Porcello, as they play Monday afternoon.